By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal government on Tuesday inaugurated Post-COVID-19 Initiatives Committee for Creative Industry in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the committee, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed said that the establishment of the committee became critical considering the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the nation, and the Creative Industry in a particular industry that has people-interaction at its core.
Recall that the Minister had two weeks ago, announced the establishment of this committee.
While announcing the committee, he also said that the committee would enable the government to address the industry challenges holistically for a more positive outcome instead of addressing them piecemeal.
‘‘The Creative Industry is a very critical sector of the nation’s economy and a major plank of the economic diversification policy of this Administration. It creates the highest number of jobs after Agriculture, especially for the youth.
‘‘It is imperative for us to have a collective and government-supported approach in dealing with the immediate, short and long term economic stimulus and initiatives for the industry, in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the sector,’’ said Mohammed.
‘‘The Committee’s membership, as announced two weeks ago, has now been expanded to include as many sectors as possible.
This is to ensure fair representation. However, while the committee cannot accommodate all members of the industry, it is certain that all members will benefit from its work. I, therefore, want to implore the entire industry to support this committee.
‘‘This is no time for division. All hands must be on deck so the industry can rebound.
I want to thank all those who have made comments and observations on the composition of the committee. This shows the great interest that the entire industry has in the work of the panel,’’ he admonished.
The Committee has the following Terms of Reference: to assess the expected impact of the pandemic on the industry in general; advise the Government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses
in the sector as well as to create succor for the industry small businesses; suggest the type of taxation and financing that is best for the industry at this time to encourage growth and advise the Government on any other measure or measures that can be undertaken to support the industry.
The committee is to be chaired by Ali Baba – Comedy, Film and TV, and Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim – Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) as Vice Chairman.
Other members include Bolanle Austen Peters, Film and Performing Arts; Charles Novia, Television and Independent Producer; Segun Arinze, Actor, and Producer; Ali Jita, Actor, and Musician; Baba Agba, Film Director; Kene Okwuosa, Cinema, and Distribution, and Efe Omoregbe, Record label, and Collective rights management.
Others are Prince Daniel Aboki, Radio, and Film; Chioma Ude, Streaming; Olumade Adesemowo, Television, and Platform (FreeTV); Dare Art Alade, Livespot Entertainment; Oliver Enwonwu, President, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA); Alhaji Saleh Rabo, President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria; Bala Hassan, Booksellers Association and Ali Nuhu, Kannywood.
The rest are Tajudeen Owoyemi, Hotels; B.M. Dzukogi, Association of Nigerian Authors; TY Bello, Photography; Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Fashion and Anita Eboigbe, Secretary.
The Minister then charged all members of the committee to do justice to the assignment, that will culminate in suitable recommendations that will not only save jobs, lives, and the industry from the scourge of the pandemic but will also properly reposition the industry to take its rightful place in the economy.
The Committee has four weeks deadline to submit its recommendations.